With a format shipped in from across the Atlantic, The Taste is the new cooking show sensation that is far more dramatic than the average cooking programme we normally see on our screens.
The premise is that ‘taste is the only thing that matters’, with only a spoonful of food being served up to the judges, by a mix of professionals and amateurs. The contestants are a mix of professionals and amateurs who get taken under the wing of one of the mentors, but they’re still eventually judged by them in the blind tasting finale part of each episode which dramatically could see them send one of their own acts home, (queue ooohs and ahhs all over the place). Gone is Greg Wallace going on about his buttery biscuit base, and in his place plenty of close ups of the lovely Nigella fluttering her eyelashes and tossing her hair. It does feel like a food porno, although it does seem to have worked its magic in providing a distraction from the recent allegations surrounding Britain’s most glamorous self-proclaimed ‘home cook’.
Each week also features the judging of a guest Michelin starred chef who seem to inspire awes and gasps from the contestants, even though the majority of us will never have heard of them. Last week was however slightly more impressive with the guest appearance of Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi and hopefully a continuing string of high profile names will continue to set their tasks for the hopefuls.
The Taste is set to keep us guessing about who could possibly take home the metaphorical golden spoon of cooking with initially the clear winner James from Shrewsbury having already been sent home. This drama, combined with scenes of Nigella spitting out her food and Anthony Bourdain’s one liners such as “this is really seventies, and not in a good way”, has left The Taste as undoubtedly the most entertaining of all the cookery programmes to hit our screens.
Food connoisseurs might scoff at The Taste, but it makes for bloody great television.
Catch The Taste on Channel 4, Tuesdays at 9pm or on 4OD now!
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